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Apps That Tip iPhone Users Off to Drunk Driver Checkpoint Locations Nixed by Apple

Trying to avoid DUI checkpoints this weekend? There's an app for that. Or, at least, there was.

Bowing to pressure following outrage from anti-drunk-driving activists and politicians over the tip-off apps, Apple has quietly written them out of its App Store, omitting them via developer guidelines and apparently letting existing DUI apps remix themselves or be kicked out of the App Store.

It's a strange move, as far as we're concerned, because ...

... many major police organizations such as the LAPD and the L.A. County Sheriff's Department actually publicize the locations of their drunk driver checkpoints.

In fact, press releases from these law organizations probably comprise a key source of info for DUI checkpoint locations for the developers.

The rational, for the LAPD at least, is that having a high profile DUI checkpoints, publicized in the media, helps law enforcement with its ultimate goal: Raising awareness about drunk driving and dissuading people from doing it.

In other words, they want you to know they're out there looking for drunks behind the wheel.

So, under this rational at least, the actual enforcers themselves would actually welcome the apps.

Oh well. We have a call in to Apple to see if they'll comment.

[@dennisjromero/djromero@laweekly.com]